Tuesday, July 3, 2012

On Saying Yes

I say “no” many times during any given day, which is then usually followed by a “sorry.”

Practicing no takes discipline.  It’s really, really hard.  Similar to yoga, I practice saying no in hopes that one day it will become easier.  Saying no can feel like the dreaded triangle pose (my yoga nemesis), but after I breath and repeat a positive affirmation, I feel a small sense of triumph of pushing myself to my edge. . . and surviving.

So I cherish the times when I get to say yes.  I feel free!  I feel alive! With only a twinge of guilt (which is totally different than feeling weighed down with guilt and only a twinge of that yummy, light alive feeling).

Case in point: I just had the amazing opportunity to partake in Kimpton’s Hotel Allegro Chicago and their Allegro Kids Rule program.

I could not be more excited!

Except that the dates directly coincided with my family vacation that I had had planned for months. We were to make the pilgrimage across I80 East with my parents and spend a few days in New Jersey and then a few days in New York.  It was going to be a great time!  We had plans!  There were expectations!

Which was all blown to bits when I received that fateful email from the wonderful people of Kimpton.

For a very brief millisecond, I thought about turning it down.  I am very big on following through with commitments, especially those concerning family.

And then I said, “Yes.”  I knew I could make this work and do some variation of both.

I called my family that we were going to be staying with and (nervously) (bravely) asked them if they would mind hosting us the week earlier.  Although I am willing to accommodate others, it felt totally weird to ask that of someone else.  Not to sound all martyr-ly, but my schedule is always revolving around others and is rarely in the forefront.  I felt guilty and icky.

But I worked through it and just yes.

Yes to the unknown.

Yes to the possibilities.

Yes to me.

During this time, a high school memory came flooding my memory.  I was fifteen, and my sophomore Spanish class was going to Spain.  I remember looking at my teacher with such awe and excitement.  I remember wanting this to work so badly, but thinking no way in HELL were my parents going to be cool with sending me across the Atlantic Ocean.  

I was even afraid to ask my parents.  Going all the way to Europe seemed so abstract, too far from my everyday reality.  I was shockingly surprised that not only did my parents day yes, they were excited and wanted to come with me.

I was given the gift that no aspiration is too big.  I learned that asking is the first step.  And the impression of my parents not only agreeing, but being excited has left a deeply imprinted on my psyche.

And from this, my place of yes was born.

Have you recently said yes to something that seemed impossible?  

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